Jennifer Rardin

Book CoverFrom Orbit Books comes the very sad news that author Jennifer Rardin passed away suddenly on Monday 20 September. I am so sorry to hear this news, and my condolences to her friends and family.

Jennifer Rardin wrote one of the best kickass heroines I’ve read. Her Jaz Parks series had a way with building the tension and never allowing the heroine to become weak or scared or in need of constant rescue. Jennifer also hosted one of our haiku contests a few years ago. You can get a sense from her judgment of the winners how funny she was:

Cat Marsters:

I like vampires
Especially when
They fight back a bit

Jennifer says, “Cat, I picked yours because you might have been channeling my heroine, Jaz, when you wrote it.  In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it’s the last thing she thinks before she stakes a villainous vamp.  Congratulations.  I hope you enjoy reading the series as much as I’ve loved writing it!”

She cracked me up when we corresponded.

Her obituary asks that donations in memory of Jennifer be sent to Riley Children’s Hospital. (I am disabling the link until I can confirm that it’s the one in Indianapolis.) 

In Jennifer’s honor, I offer one more haiku:

Sharp wit’s a rare thing.
The genre has lost some bite
And you will be missed.

 

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  1. 1
    Tina says:

    Sadly I didn’t hear about this author until today when I started seeing things on Twitter.  I’ve purchased her back list and will be donating to the hospital in her memory.  So young, so sudden.  It really makes you think about what you haven’t done in your life yet.

  2. 2

    As Jennifer’s agent, I am simply devastated at the loss of such a wonderful, talent author and caring human being. Jennifer was always funny and fun-loving—a big persona—so this hit me doubly hard. I was hoping it was a sick joke. But no, she’s really gone. We had a lot of great times together talking about Jaz Parks and the rest of Jennifer’s zany cast of characters. And Jennifer will live on in part in Jaz, so at least that is some small consolation. Urban fantasy just lost a shooting star this week. I am saddened and humbled by her passing.

  3. 3
    Devi Pillai says:

    Jennifer was one of the first authors I bought for the Orbit list. I still remember my initial conversation with Tim, my publisher, about buying a series about a CIA assassin named Jaz Parks. That was over four years—and eight books ago. Her imagination was boundless. I miss her deeply.

  4. 4
    Jennifer Armintrout says:

    Dear god.  How terrible for her family.  My thoughts are with them.

  5. 5
    Irene Hollimon says:

    So what happened? I admit I don’t know Miss Rardin beyond reading her books but I’d still like to know what happened. “Passed away suddenly” is a little vague.

  6. 6
    CrookedGoose says:

    My thoughts go out to her family.  I’ve enjoyed all of her books.

  7. 7
    Kate L says:

    She came, she saw, she kicked some serious ass.
    I glommed her books a little while ago and while my heart and sympathies go out to her friends and family, I’m happy she got to put her mark on the worlds of people she’d never met with her books.

  8. 8
    Jennifer Armintrout says:

    Irene, I don’t think any of us are owed an explanation about the details.  If the family wanted to offer an explanation, they would have.  Let’s just respect Jennifer’s privacy.

  9. 9
    Cat Marsters says:

    My goodness, what a shock!

    I remember meeting an editor from Little, Brown (who published Jennifer’s books in the UK) at a Romantic Novelists party a year or so ago. The first thing I said upon reading her name badge was, “Hey, I love you guys! You publish Jennifer Rardin!”

    Even though my syllable count was a bit iffy (er, there may have been wine involved upon that haiku’s composition) she shared my outlook on vampires. Her books were great. Her hero was delicious. Her heroine was awesome. Very sorely missed.

  10. 10
    Teri C says:

    This is very, very sad. Her books had such wit that I have read them several times. Her mighty mind will be quite missed and her characters will live on through time in her books. Thank you Jennifer for letting us into your extended family as your readers. You had such great writing.

  11. 11
    Irene Hollimon says:

    No one owes me an explanation. But also no one had to tell me anything to start out with. The conversation wasn’t started by me. So, if some entity out there in internet land has decided to tell me someone has died. I don’t see a problem with saying “what happened?” It was not necessary to notify me of a death in the first place. Someone’s coming and going isn’t really my business.
      Anyway, just because I asked doesn’t mean an internet land entity has to answer. But there won’t even be a chance of an answer until the question is asked.
    So, what happened?

    BTW, I’m a Jennifer Armintrout fan. If something happened to her, I would care and I’d want to know what happened.  Whether anyone would actually tell me is another story but I’d still ask.

  12. 12
    KinseyHolley says:

    Oh wow. I had no idea – I’ve never read her, but I’ve always intended to. The Jaz series is one of those that, every time I passed a copy in a bookstore display I’d think “Oh yeah, I have to read that, everyone says she’s awesome.”

    Her family and friends are in my prayers.

  13. 13
    Jenn says:

    So, so sad. She was a wonderful author, with a great set of characters that really grabbed your attention and your heart. She will be sadly missed in the urban fantasy world, but also on my bookshelf. I loved reading her blog and her postings, and my heartfelt wishes go out to her family at this devastating time.

  14. 14
    Dayna says:

    How sad.  I loved her books.  My thoughts go out to her family and friends.

  15. 15

    I am simply stunned by this news. I have Once Bitten, Twice Shy on my tbr pile at home. Always say I will read that when I get more time. Now I am thinking that I should make time for these things. She was only a couple of years older than I am. My thoughts and well wishes go out to her family at this devastating time. My heart aches for them.

  16. 16
    SB Sarah says:

    Tracey, I know what you mean. Jennifer was only 10 years older than I am, and her passing has hit me in the “Do It Now.”

    I think her story of how she wrote the Jax series is very Do It Now. Her husband told her after she confessed her love of all things vampire that, even if she felt like all the stories were written already, she should write hers. I’m so glad he said it – and she listened!

  17. 17
    LisaJo says:

    Oh no! I have her next (and last, unfortunately) Jaz book on pre-order as I love the series. I’m sad that such a massive talent has left us prematurely.

    just64: If only we’d had just 64 more years with Jennifer and Jaz.

  18. 18
    Karen W. says:

    What a terrible tragedy for someone to pass away suddenly at only 45 years old.  I enjoyed Jennifer’s books, and my thoughts and prayers go to her family and friends.

  19. 19
    KimberlyD says:

    I only just read my first Jaz Parks book a few weeks ago. I really liked the book and plan on finishing the series. I’m so sad that such talent is gone from this world. And I’m even more sad that her family and friends have lost a loved one.

  20. 20
    Brian says:

    Very sad news.  My thoughts and best wishes go out to her family & friends.

    @LisaJo, there will be two more Jaz books.  The one coming out in November and the final book in the series which she had completed will be out in June 2011.

  21. 21
    MelB says:

    My thoughts and prayers to her family and friends. I have never read Jennifer, but her books will be on the top of my list. Hers is a legacy of great stories that will live forever.

  22. 22
    Stacey says:

    God bless her family.  Any death is horrific, An unexpected death is tragic. 

    Irene, I understand your question.  As women we try to prevent a tragedy whether to ourselves, children, friends, or family.  Sometimes knowing what contributes to a death might prevent the death of others. Not to speak for anyone but myself,  but asking the question of what happened does not reduce the sorrow felt for her loss and for her grieving family, it is just a knee-jerk reaction to try to prevent another tragedy.  That’s just the way God made us.

  23. 23
    Dana H says:

    My condolences to her family and friends.

    I loved her books and I’m so sad to hear that she passed away. I sent her an email once, squeeing about her books, and her reply was so sweet and funny. She will be missed.

  24. 24

    Very sad news indeed. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

  25. 25
    Marta Acosta says:

    She will be missed. Her fans loved her—they made art for her!—and I think she knew how special that kind of devotion was. Jennifer was a guest at my blog and we exchanged many emails. She was always friendly, fun, and upbeat.

  26. 26
    Tia Nevitt says:

    I was shocked and sad to hear of this. I interviewed her back in 2008 and she was a delight. I feel for her family.

  27. 27
    Isobel Carr says:

    Wow. Harsh and awful news.

    My thoughts and prayers are with her family. RIP (and kick a little ass in the afterlife).

  28. 28
    orangehands says:

    How horrible. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

  29. 29
    Jessica says:

    Oh, how awful.  My heart goes out to her family and friends.  The Jaz books are wonderful, and I have consistently encouraged people who’ve said they’re turned off of urban fantasy by LKH etc to try them—Jaz is just a delight and the character development was so great.

  30. 30
    SB Sarah says:

    Thanks to a link via email, there is a section of the police blotter from Robinson IL on Paperbackswap that reports Rardin’s death has been ruled by the coroner as a suicide.

    I am more sorry than I can say to learn this.

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